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Chicago Is Rich Bitch! The City Just Signed A Deal For ONE BILLION Dollars To Provide Fresh Water To Drought Riddled Cities and States

Bloomberg - As American states such as California grapple with harsher and more frequent droughts, the US Midwest is touting its ample water supplies to spur economic growth.

Chicago has just signed a contract valued at $1 billion to sell its water elsewhere — the first such deal in 40 years — and the city expects more to come. Illinois is also launching a federally-funded plan to expand its $17 billion “Blue Economy” to lure companies from water-intensive chip manufacturers to climate-tech startups.

The Great Lakes, which account for more than 80% of North America’s surface fresh water supplies, are increasingly becoming a key selling point. As President Joe Biden pushes advanced manufacturing and environmentally-friendly infrastructure, the Midwest is poised for a much-needed economic boost.

Cities with direct access to fresh water are already looking to capitalize. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot last week signed a 100-year deal to sell water to Joliet, about 50 miles inland Illinois, and its suburbs. This will make it the city’s second-biggest water buyer when supplies start in 2030. The deal comes after Chicago lost some customers in recent years following price increases, said Jennie Bennett, the city’s chief financial officer. 

“We’ve put the Chicago water system back in a growth position through the Joliet transaction in a really big way,” Bennett said in a recent interview. “We know that having high-quality, low-cost water is very important to a lot of industries.”

Chicago can offer water for less than what cities such as Detroit, New York, Houston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles can. And it’s just a fraction of the price in San Francisco, according to data from the Windy City’s Department of Water Management.

Giphy Images.

That sound you heard was the cash register at the city of Chicago Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office going "cha ching".

Is it me or is there something about Chicago Mayors on their way out the door signing billion dollar contracts with private companies they SWEAR will benefit Chicagoans for generations to come, but actually don't?

Chicago Tribune - “The city of Chicago granted CPM, a private party, monopoly control over the city’s parking meter system for an astonishing 75-year-long period, without regard for the changes in technology and innovations in transportation taking place now and for the rest of the century,” the lawsuit alleges.

The 2009 deal to privatize Chicago street parking was struck by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley, awarding an exclusive 75-year contract to Chicago Parking Meters for an upfront cash payment of $1.16 billion. The unpopular lease agreement was revised in 2013 under then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel to allow for free Sunday parking, adjusted hours of operation and the ability to pay with smartphones.

With 36,000 metered parking spaces, Chicago Parking Meters operates the third-largest street parking system in the U.S., according to the company’s website. Investors in the privately held company include Morgan Stanley, Allianz Capital Partners and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

By the end of 2019, Chicago Parking Meters had already earned $500 million more than the $1.16 billion it paid the city 10 years earlier through increased parking rates, the lawsuit alleges.

“Over the 75-year life of the agreement, having already profited by $500 million, CPM has achieved and will have achieved an extraordinary rate of return on its original $1.16 billion investment, at the expense of consumers … who prefer other uses of the transportation grid on which this windfall profit depends,” the lawsuit alleges.

But what do I know? I'm just a conspiracy theory-peddling smut blogger. The government at all levels is our friend and protector. 

Anyway, back to the water. 

Talk about fucking jackpot huh?

Every week we read stories about how states like California are on fire (literally), fining people for watering their lawns, paying people to tear up their grass and replace it with astroturf or rock, and how Lake Mead outside Las Vegas doesn't have enough water to last the city two more years.

Meanwhile, here in the midwest, on the beautiful Great Lakes, we're experiencing well above-average lake levels. To the point, it's become a problem and caused erosion problems.

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So talk about making lemonade out of lemons. 

Start shipping that water to the water-poor states and taxing the shit out of them. Maybe, just maybe we can dig ourselves out of the insurmountable debt we're in as a city and state? 

I've been on the record for years now that I think I'm a lake guy now. I still fucking love and miss the ocean, but aside from the fact you drop like a lead weight in lake water, and we don't have near the level of food coming out of lakes that we do the sea, The Great Lakes trump the ocean in pretty much every other way.

Now you can add "renewable revenue source" to the list of many reasons lakes are better too. (Until Chicago finds a way to fuck that up)